Q A. MARESYEV o pictured the dark-haired newspaper man who had^spent a night in my dugout. The next day I made a point of tuning in at nine o'clock in the morning. I could hardly believe my ears. Polevoi had written about me. That same evening I called on him at his home and he told me that he had looked for me during the war but had been unable to find me. We travelled different roads to victory. He described his work in army archives and how he recapitulated the details of our talk with the aid of his hasty notes. That evening saw the beginning of my close friendship with Boris Polevoi. Unfortunately we meet very rarely, only at conferences and meetings, and sometimes in our homes. But for me these are always memorable occa- sions, for Polevoi is a bottomless well of ideas and observations, and it's always a thrill just to listen to him. But there was an occasion when we were together for quite a few days. It was in the United States where we were invited by American war veterans. It was Polevoi's second visit to the US. During his first visit a well-known journalist maintained that as an ex-airman he could not believe the story of Alexei Maresyev. He said it was all the work of Polevoi's imagination. On this visit Polevoi introduced me to the American as "material evidence". But I don't think even that made him change his mind. Today Pelevoi is 60. He has been working in Soviet literature for more than forty years. He has written four novels and seventeen volumes of short stories and sketches. He does not think of rest, even in his sleep. It's the profession he has chosen. The profession of a journalist. I have not made a slip of the pen. He is a writer, but he's got the tenacity and vitality of a journalist. He's always travelling, always looking, always making notes. Were I a man of letters I would most certainly have written A Story About a Real Man, of a courageous and mercurial war-time correspondent, of a distinguished writer and journalist, of a fine friend and a REAL MAN—of Boris Polevoi.